Monday, June 22, 2015

Boehner Takes His Revenge On Republicans Who Voted Against Fast Track... But Not Against Republicans Who Took Racist Campaign Contributions


Recently there have been several roll calls on various aspects of the controversial TPP. Big Business and Wall Street are demanding passage and both Obama and Boehner/McConnell are eager to acquiesce. Almost all the Democrats voted against all the bills-- with corporate whores Steny Hoyer and Steve Israel leading dissident conservatives across the aisle to vote with the GOP. The House Freedom Caucus-- basically an invitation-only club composed mainly of old Tea Party Caucus members-- led the fight inside the Republican Conference against the job-killing trade agenda. Three of the Republicans who voted NO were members of Boehner's whip team-- Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Trent Franks (R-AZ). But they're not on the whip team any longer. All three were booted after their votes.

The Freedom Caucus is secretive and doesn't release a membership list, in fear that Boehner will persecute them, as he has been doing to some of the several dozen Republicans who opposed aspects of TPP and Fast Track. Members who have been brazenly public about their membership include Cantor-slayer Dave Brat (R-VA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), John Fleming (R-LA), Curt Clawson (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Justin Amash (R-MI), Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and Mark Meadows (R-NC).

And speaking of Mr. Meadows, he was kicked out of his job as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Government Operations. Interestingly, the Ranking Member is Big Business-oriented New Dem Gerald Connolly (D-VA) and he also bucked his party (in this case, to vote with Boehner)-- and Nancy Pelosi didn't relieve him of his role. The chairman of the full committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), says he made the decision himself and wasn't ordered to do so by Boehner. No one believes him.
"Sometimes the coach needs to make a change on the field," Chaffetz (R-Utah) told Politico Saturday. "He’s still a valuable contributor, and I really like Mark Meadows, he’s a good person. But I need to make a change."

Losing a subcommittee chairmanship midway through a congressional session is among the most serious punishments thus far in Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) majority. Boehner and his leadership team have grown frustrated with Republicans who vote against the procedural "rule" motion. Those votes-- which allow the Republican leadership to bring a bill up for debate and a vote-- typically fall along party lines. But a group of conservatives has voted against the measures, mostly in protest of Boehner’s leadership. Republican leadership sees the move as unacceptable-- akin to ceding power to Democrats.

On June 11, 34 Republicans voted against the rule that allowed for consideration of President Barack Obama’s request for fast-track authority to negotiate the largest trade deal in history. Conservatives said Boehner and GOP leaders were working too closely with Democrats, and ignoring Republicans. Boehner said he has worked closely with conservatives. In a closed meeting this week, the speaker told rank-and-file Republicans that he was angry that conservatives were voting against the motions. The GOP leadership has told lawmakers that there will be ramifications for voting against such resolutions.

Meadows was one of the 34 lawmakers who voted against the motion. Chaffetz said there were a "variety of factors" that led to him losing his chairmanship of the Government Operations subcommittee.

"I’m just going to leave it at that," he said, when asked about the other factors. "There were a variety of factors, but I did what I felt was in the best interest of the oversight committee."
On the Democratic side of the aisle, Democrats who crossed over and voted against their own constituents have less to worry about. Pelosi has no real power to discipline anyone any longer. And Obama has vowed to campaign for any New Dems and Blue Dogs who voted with Boehner if they're challenged by a progressive in a primary. Hillary is dancing around the issue, and no one seems to be noticing that Bernie Sanders is getting bigger audiences out on the hustings than any other candidates... from either party. His populist message is resonating, especially among Democratic activists and progressives.

Ted Cruz, eyes wide shut
Of course the Republicans have activists too. And, more important to them, activist-donors. Take the racist identity groups that right-wing terrorist Dylann Roof says he got many of his ideas from. Last night The Guardian and this morning the NY Times revealed that the white supremicists behind Dylann Roof's racist manifesto were giving money to... Republicans, of course. Ted Cruz says he'll return the money. Jon Swaine:
The leader of a rightwing group that Dylann Roof allegedly credits with helping to radicalise him against black people before the Charleston church massacre has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans such as presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum.

Earl Holt has given $65,000 to Republican campaign funds in recent years while inflammatory remarks-- including that black people were "the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world"-- were posted online in his name.

After being approached by the Guardian on Sunday, Cruz’s presidential campaign said it would be returning all money the senator had received from Holt.

Holt, 62, is the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a Missouri-based activist organisation cited by the author of a manifesto-style text that was posted on a website registered in Roof’s name along with photographs of the gunman. The FBI said on Saturday it was investigating the website.

Holt has since 2012 contributed $8,500 to Cruz, the Texas senator running for the Republican presidential nomination, and his Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. On some filings Holt’s occupation was listed as "slumlord."

He has also given $1,750 to RandPAC, the political action committee of Paul, the Kentucky senator and presidential contender, and he gave $2,000 to the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.

A further $1,500 was donated by Holt to Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and 2012 Republican presidential primary runner-up, who is running for president again in the 2016 race and attended Sunday’s memorial service at Emanuel AME Church.
The Times further reports that Holt has also helped finance the political careers of-- no surprises here-- Michele Bachmann (R-MN), overt racist dog Steve King (R-IA), Todd Akin (R-MO), current faux-moderate Rob Portman (R-OH), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

UPDATE: Meadows Has A Message For Boehner

The Daily Signal reports that Meadows-- and friends-- are not going to take Boehner's bullying lying down. Meadows told them that Boehner's leadership style has created "a culture of punishment and fear."
"For the last six months they have doled out small punishments in a variety of forms," said Rep. Mark Meadows of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

"I personally have received those. I have not gone public until now--because they went public first. The leadership team wants to create a culture of punishment and fear without a culture of debate and dialogue. But there is no honor in bowing to a bully. There is only honor in fighting a good fight-- win or lose. This is not a fight I will back down from.

..."There has been a suggestion that I should keep quiet and mind my manners for several months and then I will be given an opportunity to receive some of the benefits leadership allows. But if we allow ourselves to be bullied in the House of Representatives, how will we stand for Americans being stripped of their freedoms?

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At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congressional Democratic Leadership:
Consequence Free Since as Long as I Can Remember


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